Youth Voter Champions

Creating Engaged Youth Voters

Since the voting age was lowered to 18 in 1971, one trend has remained constant across all elections: our youngest voters (ages 18-25) have the lowest turnout of all age groups.

Years of research (see data from CIRCLE at Tuft’s University) reveal a number of reasons why young voters aren’t engaging at higher levels. The potential solutions are just as numerous, each addressing a different obstacle along the youth voter pipeline.

That’s where the Y comes in. Alongside a coalition of partners, we are making a nationwide Youth Voter Challenge – to transform the culture around youth voting in our schools and communities, to ensure the highest possible rates of youth voter registration/turnout, and to actively engage youth voters as changemakers at all levels of government.


Become a Champion

Our Youth Voter Challenge asks YMCA participants, advisors/volunteers, and staff – and their respective schools and YMCAs – to take part in a 4-phase effort transforming youth voter participation in their communities.

Please sign-up to become a Youth Voter Champion below, and ask your peers/colleagues to do the same. We encourage schools and Ys to have as many participants join the challenge as possible!

Become a Youth Voter Champion

Once an individual from your school or Y has signed-up for the challenge, your school or Y will be added to our National Dashboard. As additional members sign-up, we’ll continue adding them to your total # of champions.


Challenge Phases

By signing-up to become a Youth Voter Champion, you’ll agree to support your school/delegation through each phase of our challenge:

Phase 1 | Advocacy

  • Email to your state’s Chief Elections Official advocating for the creation of a youth voter registration award (some states already have one!), along with additional recommendations to support youth voter inclusion.
  • Email a letter to your School Principal asking them to incorporate voter registration and youth voter inclusion as part of their annual operating plans.

Phase 2 | Youth Poll Worker Pledge

  • Help the Y, and our partners at Power the Polls, recruit a new generation of youth poll workers from your families, schools, YMCAs, and communities.
  • Endorse and advocate for “Youth at the Booth” – making 16 the universal age for serving as a poll worker.

Phase 3 | Mobilization & Registration

  • Youth Voter Champions will receive the our Mobilization & Registration Guide, including resources and information from our partners at  The Civics Center, to help mobilize your voter registration efforts.
  • Our organizers will work with you to begin mobilizing your delegations and schools to conduct voter registration online (and, if safe, in-person).

Phase 4 | Get Out the Vote (GOTV)

  • To ensure youth voter turnout, we’ll launch GOTV efforts with National Voter Education Week (Oct. 5-9) with youth vote partners across the country.
  • On Saturday, Oct. 24th, we’ll celebrate Vote Early Day to encourage safe early voting by mail or in-person.
  • Our challenge culminates with our GOTV Week of Action from Sunday, Oct. 25th until Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd.


Additional Resources & Information

In addition to the organizations and resources already mentioned, we have also organized an additional list of links and materials to help support your youth voter outreach efforts: